Published on September 6, 2018 — Leave a comment

How to Be a Pro at Shopping for Secondhand Handbags

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Handbags are one of our top-selling categories on thredUP. Not surprised? We know. Finding a handbag that you love, that feels so indescribably you, is pretty much the best feeling. Handbags can be practical (and sometimes impractical), confidence-building, outfit-making items that show off your individual style like nothing else.  But they also know how to break your budget, especially those designer ones. So, happy you’re here, choosing to shop smart (secondhand!) for one of the most important purchases you’ll make all year. Here’s how to do it!

Tip #1: Look for high quality materials and hardware.

A quality handbag is one of the smartest investments you can make. It’s best to skip that fancy top or skirt and splurge on a well-made handbag. You’ll need it to carry you through multiple seasons and to keep up with your busy schedule. You know, day to night, gym to brunch, etc. Look for 100% full-grain leather handbags and quality metal detailing. All our luxury designer handbags are checked for authenticity.


Tip #2: Take note of sizes and measurements.

It’s always hard to tell the exact size of a handbag online, so be sure to check out all the measurements we provide to help you decide if it’s the right bag for you. We also have images of each handbag on a mannequin so you can visualize where it might sit on your body. Whether it’s clutches or satchels or weekender bags, measurements of the purse and bag are there for you to see if the size fits!

Tip #3: Know the best branded bags to look for.

For a full list of our favorites, check out our 25 Most Popular Handbag Brands post. But for the Cliff Notes version, the top hits are Kate Spade New York, Michael Michael Kors, Dooney & Burke, and Coach. Find every secondhand style you love at thredUP from shoulder bags and tote bags to clutches and yep, fanny packs.



Tip #4: Utilize all our handy filters.

The left-hand navigation is your shopping friend. Filter by style, brand, color, price, condition, material, and even pattern and accent. Keep your search broad for the most options or type exactly what you’re looking for into the search bar at the top.

Tip #5: Try saved searches to find your dream handbag.

Have you been waiting forever to score that hot pink Kate Spade bag or wallet? Try saved searches—they’re our best secondhand secret. Choose the filters you want to save or enter exactly what you’re looking for in the search bar. If we don’t have the bag you want in stock right now, we’ll send you an email or push notification the moment it hits our site. You can always find all your saved searches under the bookmark icon.


Tip #6: Use our new Auto-Buy feature.

Handbags are a hot commodity around here. In fact, sometimes it only takes a few hours or less before an in-demand handbag gets snatched up in someone’s cart. If you want to see all the handbags that are in someone else’s cart, you can filter by In Someone’s Cart in the left nav.

Once it’s in a cart, it’s not lost to you forever. If you know you want it, click on AUTO-BUY on the product detail page to automatically purchase the item if it gets released.  And if you just want to get notified when the item gets released, that works too. Just click on GET NOTIFIED and we’ll send you an email or push notification the second it’s free.

Please note that all handbag purchase made at thredUP are final sale and not returnable.

Do you have any tips for shopping secondhand handbags? Let us know in the comments below!